Steadfast Faith

KEY VERSE: “He [Hezekiah] clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.” —II Kings 18:6

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Kings 18:1-20; 20:16-21

THE HISTORY OF the kings of Israel and of Judah was turbulent. After the division of the kingdom following the death of Solomon, and the rebellion of Jeroboam against Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, the ten-tribe kingdom had many kings. All of them led the people into idolatry. The two-tribe kingdom of Judah also had wicked kings, but from time to time a good king would come upon the scene. About two hundred years after the division of these two kingdoms and during the time that the ten-tribe kingdom was carried away captive by Assyria, King Hezekiah ruled over Judah. He was a good king and, as our Key Verse says, he followed closely the commandments given to Moses by God.

Hezekiah instituted nationwide reforms. As II Kings 18:4 tells us, “He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves.” All the altars, groves, and images erected for worshiping the deities of the Canaanites were torn down, as was the brazen serpent which Moses placed on a pole, used to save Israel from a plague of serpent bites. See Numbers 21:5-9. The good thing done by Moses as commanded by the Lord had become an idol, and an important part of Baal worship. It no longer had an association with the true God.—II Kings 18:4

The Assyrians who had carried away the inhabitants of the northern kingdom into captivity were determined to do the same to Judah. Sennacherib, King of Assyria, invaded Judah, capturing forty-six towns, and was on his way to lay siege upon Jerusalem. Hezekiah sent a message of submission, and a huge sum of silver and gold, to Sennacherib, who was thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem. This gift did not appease Sennacherib, who sent envoys with a large army to persuade the people of Jerusalem not to listen to Hezekiah, who trusted in God to save Judah.

It was said of Hezekiah that “he trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.” (II Kings 18:5) This testimony, that was truly so, displayed a steadfast, sure faith held by King Hezekiah, as well as a complete reliance upon God. We learn this from the many glimpses into his character given to us in II Kings 18th to 20th chapters, and in Isaiah 36th to 39th chapters. Hezekiah put on sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord to place the matter before him; and he sent officials and priests to consult with the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah answered, saying, “Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard.”—II Kings 19:6

Sennacherib sent a letter to Hezekiah—one of defiance. When Hezekiah received the letter he took it to the Temple and spread it before the Lord, praying that God would save them. (vss. 14-19) God answered the king’s prayer. That night an angel of the Lord smote the army of Sennacherib and slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers encamped outside Jerusalem. Sennacherib then went home to Nineveh, where he was assassinated by his sons.

Those who have the steadfast faith in God of Hezekiah, will receive God’s blessings, and the deliverance promised.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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